Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 27, 1890

Rules for Christian Workers

Sands, Virginia

November 10, 1890

Previously unpublished.

To the Household:

In a dream there have been presented to me things that depress me. I have been instructed that many among us are not reaching their highest privilege. They are not walking in the way of the Lord. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 1

Christians are Christlike. In following Jesus, we walk in the light as He is in the light, and as we advance, this light grows brighter unto the perfect day. As those in the home circle stand under the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, they are drawn into the close relationship of a family compact. They feel the responsibility resting upon them to improve in their connection with one another, preparatory to their union with the family in heaven. They are to realize the sacredness of the obligations resting on them as they stand in the inner and smaller circles of duty. They are to live as those who have a sacred part to act in keeping their souls in the love of Christ. They are to live in close connection with the Light of the world, walking circumspectly. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 2

They are to strive earnestly for the gift of eternal life, a gift that includes everything good and ennobling—honor, love, eternal riches. In order to gain this heavenly treasure, there is something for every one to do. The Lord says to those who are seeking for eternal life, “Go, work today in my vineyard.” [Matthew 21:28.] Christ was a worker. It was His work to help and bless others. “We are laborers together with God.” [1 Corinthians 3:9.] A tree is known by its fruit. Men do not gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles. Christ says, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” [John 15:5.] The branches of the vine bear fruit of the same kind as the fruit borne by the parent stock. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 3

True Christians have the mind of Christ. They labor in harmony with the great Worker, gathering strength from the Source of all strength, the Fountain of all goodness and truth. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith, receiving light from the Saviour, they reflect light to others. The glory of the Lord is their rereward. Their path on earth may be traced by the character of their work. They are not clouds without rain. They are cheerful and happy, because they are following the light of life, whose going forth is prepared as the morning. They have gratitude offerings to present to God. They see Him in all His works; they acknowledge Him in all His ways. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 4

If they are members of a Christian family, they make the most of their privileges and opportunities, turning them to the very best account. Not only do they receive; they impart; for they are ever learning, ever discerning new motives to duty. They follow where Christ leads the way, advancing, not standing still, for Christ moves ever onward. They feel that it is their constant duty to inquire, “Is this the way of the Lord? Shall I, in following this way, gain spiritual strength?” Diligently examining themselves, proving themselves by the law of the Lord, looking at themselves in the divine mirror, they will discover every defect of character if they desire earnestly to know how they can improve, how [to] grow up into Christ, their living Head. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 5

Thoughtful self-examination is too often neglected to the great danger and loss of the soul. Before all, old and young, Christ stands as the perfect example. They are to copy His character. To be careless in this work is dangerous. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 6

Those who neglect to follow the way of the Lord, wasting their time or employing it to the detriment of the soul, follow a road over which they must retrace their steps if they are ever saved. Habits have been formed, tastes and inclinations pleasing to the natural heart established, which make them spiritually and morally weak. They have been doing a work represented as bringing to the foundation hay, wood, and stubble—just the work that Satan was pleased to have them do. But it was their privilege to obtain wisdom from God—wisdom that would have enabled them to make all their mercies tell with directness and power in the service of Christ. It was their privilege to do a work represented as bringing to the foundation gold, silver, and precious stones. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 7

Every day, true Christians will watch for opportunities to speak words that will be a blessing to others and to do the works of righteousness represented in the Word of God as gold, silver, and precious stones. They have special help in every time of need, because they are not living to please themselves, but to work the works of Christ. In the place of choosing to follow their own way, they inquire, “Is this the way of the Lord?” 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 8

We have enlisted in the army of God to do whatever He bids us. We are to obey the orders of our Captain. We are engaged in an unceasing conflict with evil. Satan and his angels league themselves with men who do not the will and way of God. Although these men have a pretense of godliness, a name to live, they are dead. Satan uses them as decoys to win other souls to himself. They lead those with whom they come in contact to do those things that are a snare to them. Their influence is a savor of death unto death, whereas, if they followed the way of the Lord, it would be a power for good, on the Lord’s side. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 9

Satan is a deceiver, a corrupter of principles, and it is a sad loss to any soul to work on the enemy’s side while professedly serving in Christ’s army. Christ has a work for all to do. All are under obligation to learn the best methods and the wisest plans for advancing the cause of Christ. They have enlisted in His army, and they are to use every jot of their ability in the struggle against evil. They are to war a good warfare against the wily foe. They are never to give the enemy the least opportunity to gain control over the thoughts or actions. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 10

This is the work before every one. Every member of the church must feel the converting power of God. The prevailing sin of the members of the church is that they do not follow Christ. They do not advance in Christian knowledge and experimental godliness. They stop short, as if there were no more steps to take in order to keep by the side of Christ as He leads the way. They are not wide awake to the importance and positive necessity of the union of divine influence with human endeavor. They work without bringing Christ into their work, and therefore their efforts are not successful. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 11

Many fail to see the necessity of placing themselves in the companionship of those who breathe a pure, holy atmosphere. They do not see the need for the presence of the Lord in all their undertakings, and the enemy leads them in his path, keeping them busy in his work. Then he brings discouragement upon them because of their unfitness to engage in the work of the Lord. They have little power to strive in the strength of God to escape from the snare in which they have permitted Satan to take them captive at his will. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 12

The soul thus weakened should cast himself upon Christ. He will receive him. He alone has power to change the current of his thoughts and convert him from the error of his way. He can so transform him that he will carry about with him, in word and deed, the proof that divine grace has been working upon his heart. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 13

O how greatly our churches are in need of the Spirit of God. It makes my heart ache to see how often the Lord Jesus is betrayed and put to open shame by unconverted believers. Satan secures their services. Under his direction they bring to the foundation material that will be consumed by the fires of the last days. O that God would arouse His people to the necessity and importance of earnest prayer for divine enlightenment, for the influence of the Spirit of God. I pray that they may so strive to gather divine force that their spiritual sleepiness may not deepen into the death slumber. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 14

Reproach is brought on Christ every day because of the absence of the Holy Spirit among His people. They have so long accustomed themselves to be content with a faint glimmer of light, to be satisfied with small things, that they are disqualified for service. They have received so little spiritual power that they cannot reach hearts. They have not put to the tax every spiritual nerve and muscle in the effort to advance, making the most of their entrusted capabilities. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 15

We are to keep increasing in wisdom. The more experience we gain in doing the will of the Lord, the better will we understand what the cross of Calvary means to us. Christ says, “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” [Mark 8:34.] We shall find that as we lift the cross, it lifts us. Fallen human beings can be converted and transformed only by following where Christ leads the way. Justice says, “Let him alone; he is joined to his idols.” [Hosea 4:17.] Christ says, “Let him come to Me, and live. I will pardon his transgressions. Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me, and he shall make peace with Me.” [Isaiah 55:3; 27:5.] 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 16

Our Saviour does not leave His followers in ignorance as to what is before them in the spiritual warfare. With simplicity and faithfulness He lays open before them the character of the warfare in which He asks them to engage. He urges them to count the cost. He points them to the vast confederacy of evil arrayed against them, but He tells them that they will not fight alone, that God and the angels will fight with them if they will faithfully act their part, steadfastly resisting the temptations of the enemy. “Be of good cheer,” He says, “I have overcome the world. [John 16:33.] I, the Captain of the Lord’s host, stand at the head of His soldiers, leading them on to victory.” 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 17

Christ’s soldiers wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and against spiritual wickedness in high places. At times the battle waxes strong, and apparently they are well-nigh overwhelmed; but they need not be discouraged. They are engaged in a good warfare, and angels of God are fighting with them. Impelled by the love of Christ, they are to press the battle to the gates. Every soldier is to be up and doing. But God’s servants are so slow, so fearful to make a charge upon the enemy, that often favorable opportunities for gaining a victory pass unimproved, because they are not ready. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 18

The Lord is working upon human hearts, but how few act as if they believed this. There are those upon whose minds the Lord is working, bringing to them conviction in regard to the truth. If His human agents would work patiently and in faith, never losing their hold on God, great results would be seen. God is waiting to unite His power with human effort, that the truth may triumph and the world be astonished at the work that God has wrought. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 19

But before this can be accomplished, a deeper work of grace must be done in the hearts of believers. Christ will accept nothing short of wholehearted service. To the Jews He said, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:20.] The charge that He brought against the Jewish leaders was that their piety was not sincere, but superficial—a cloak put on to conceal the deformity of their motives and purposes. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 20

Every true follower of Christ is guided by principles that keep him active in the service of the Master. He has a high and holy object to gain. Jesus puts in his heart principles that lead him to make the glory of God his highest aim. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 21

Christ expects us to keep the will of God ever before us, making it our rule of life, committing the keeping of our souls to God as unto a faithful Creator. We are not to allow our own will to control, for we have been bought with a price. We are to keep ever in view the glory of God, for we are Christ’s representatives. Every purpose, every plan, every object, must bow to the supreme will. “I came” Christ said, “not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.” [John 6:38; 4:34.] In the garden of Gethsemane, His soul enshrouded with darkness, the thought before Him that His life of humiliation and suffering was to be ended by an ignominious death, He looked to God, exclaiming, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Thine be done.” [Matthew 26:39; Luke 22:42.] 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 22


Ever since the time that man aspired to be as God, and fell through Satan’s deceiving power, there has been a controversy between man and His maker—a determination on the part of man to gain an independence totally opposed to the life and lessons of Christ. Christians are to lay this struggle for independence on God’s altar. Until they do this, God cannot imbue them with His Spirit. All self-sufficiency is to be given up. The will is to be wholly yielded to God’s will. He who is truly seeking for help from on high will welcome the assistance and counsel that God sends, whatever means the Lord may employ to give His directions. 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 23


O how we grieve God’s heart of love by our stubborn self-will, our determination to do as we please. Let us not provoke the Lord to anger by striving for self-exaltation. Let us not think that we have no confessions to make. Unless we place ourselves, by confession of sin, where God can cleanse our hearts, we shall do the same wrong things again and again. We cannot afford to do this. Of those who have passed a certain boundary line, God says, “I will punish, and will not spare My judgments.” 6LtMs, Ms 27, 1890, par. 24